Invites and Paper

What Would You Pay a Friend to Design Invites?

I have a talented bestie since childhood who's in marketing but trying to get a graphic design side-hustle going. Not doing bridesmaids, but she'd definitely be one. I've approached her about doing paper materials for our wedding and sending me the digital files to print elsewhere. When the topic of payment came up she said, "Just tell me what you are willing to pay me & that'll be fine." 

Asked for: 
1. Invitations suite (Invite, Reply, Details card)
2. Activity card on one side & Thank you note on the other side
3. Ceremony program 
4. A couple of other signs (hashtag, a quote) 

She's also amazing at hand-lettering so I've asked her to come down one weekend from Dallas to Austin (probably some same weekend I have a bridal shower) & we'll make the physical signs. I am willing to pay her a flat rate for everything & cover travel and expenses on the crafting weekend. What is the rate you would pay her based on the info I've given (design experience, friendship, scope of work)?
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Re: What Would You Pay a Friend to Design Invites?

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    I answered you on your other post.
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  • MrsMik2017MrsMik2017
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    edited May 22
    OMG STOP TROLLING ME! I am legitimately asking a question and you are just trying to be upsetting. 
    knottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • *Barbie**Barbie*
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    $5,000
    southernbelle0915ahoyweddingHeffalumpadk19
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    She reworded her question from her original post, which she tried to delete.   Check it out.
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    *Barbie*InLoveInQueens
  • *Barbie**Barbie*
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    CMGragain said:

    She reworded her question from her original post, which she tried to delete.   Check it out.


    in that case $7,000.
    southernbelle0915InLoveInQueensHeffalumpadk19
  • MrsMik2017MrsMik2017
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    edited May 22
    Why are all of you being so rude? I've asked this same question on several other wedding planning websites and this is the only site where I've gotten such terribly rude responses that have nothing to do with the original question. 

    I work in events, have worked with plenty of brides, and one thing I know is that everyone is completely different in what they choose to do with their wedding. If I want to do the hokey-pokey or play musical chairs at my wedding (I don't, just using silly examples) then what does it matter to YOU? If I want to give everyone a crystal goblet as a favor or if I want to give everyone a special acorn that reminds me of each person, again, what does it matter to YOU? My question has to do with appropriate compensation, not what your opinion of my wedding choices is... 

    And it's unfortunate that The Knot won't let you delete a post when it gets so severely hijacked by someone else who is just TROLLING on their website. And yes, I do know what it means and did use it correctly. (In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll's amusement.)

    I've reported you CMGragain and I find it incredibly disheartening that this type of behavior is so readily available on this website designed to help and uplift one another.
    knottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • I offered a friend about  $500 for these kinds of services (though we went with another option because he had to leave quickly for a job overseas....he did make the wedding though). I'd offer that plus travel. 

    Alternatively, you can price out professional designers with poster rates, and find out the going rate for each bit, then add it together and round up to the nearest  $50.

    FWIW, I wouldn't use mad libs at a wedding (I shouldn't be bored at one), but I wouldn't personally side eye them or the charitable donation.  (Unless of course if it was to a political or politically charged organization....that's just asking for trouble.) It's an unpopular opinion, though, and some of your guests will judge you no matter where you choose.

    Also, FWIW, we didn't have any favors at our wedding, and no one noticed. Skip the favors altogether and move that money to something you want to splurge a little on. :)
    MrsMik2017InLoveInQueens
  • geebee908geebee908
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    Announcing that you're making a donation in lieu of favors is just self-serving and that's what's wrong with making the announcement about it. Don't have favors and give the money to charity without making a big deal about it. The Look-at-us-we're-such-good-people approach isn't very appealing to most people. If you're good people, everyone will already know that; if you have to announce it, then I start to question your motives.
    CMGragainILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited May 22
    OP, your original post contained information that almost everyone here on The Knot regards as rude and improper - that is, making a donation to the charity of YOUR choosing, and notifying guests that it has been done in their "honor" instead of giving them an unnecessary favor.  I tried to explain this to you.  I tried to stop you from making a big etiquette mistake.  You responded with hostility, and you tried to delete your original post.

    The answers you have received as a direct result of your own responses.  Trying to delete your original post and then rephrasing your question, hoping that no one would notice your original post, was a very bad idea.  This is why you have received some of the responses from others.

    You need to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions.  If you posted that you were planning to rob a bank and asked what weapon you should use, no one would answer your question.   We would tell you not to rob the bank.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueens
  • Oops!  I answered on your other post.  Copied it here with a bit of a tweak and added the last paragraph:

    I'd do a Google search and/or call a few local places to get an idea on normal pricing for those services.  Then offer my friend something in that price range, plus fair travel expenses.  She may/may not protest and insist on less.  But that is her prerogative to offer less than the going rate.  You shouldn't assume that (I'm not saying you are).

    I'd also potentially ixnay the Activity/Favors Card.  I suppose an activity, if it was related to you all as a couple, might be cute.  Like a little, basic crossword about you all.  Something like that.  But it is an extra expense that some guests will just throw out.

    Like other PPs have mentioned, you don't have to have any favors at all.  That's fine.  If you want to use the money you would have designated for favors to your favorite charity, that's fine also.  But it's weird and a little off-putting to announce that to guests.

    It's essentially saying, "We were going to give you Jordan Almonds/customized M&Ms/koozie with our names/etc.  But decided to donate money to ABC Charity instead."  As a guest I would be thinking, "Soooo, you all donated to your favorite charity.  Ummm, okay.  And now I'm not getting customized M&Ms."  I mean, of course I'm joking about the M&Ms specifically, but the premise is the same.  "We were going to get everyone a token gift and now we aren't."

    Like all the other PPs on here, I'm not saying that to be mean.  I'm trying to be helpful and telling you what my unbiased reaction would be.  It certainly wouldn't be a huge side-eye, but there would be a brief snarky comment in my head.  And I'd bet dollars to doughnuts some of your guests will have the same reaction.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    CMGragaincharlotte989875InLoveInQueensHeffalump
  • MrsMik2017MrsMik2017
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    edited May 22
    I very much appreciate your responses. Allow me to clarify: 

    I do want to pay my friend a professional rate. As I mentioned, I work in (corporate) events and do day-of coordination on the side and if a friend or acquaintance wanted me to coordinate their wedding I would offer a different rate because they are my friend than I would to just some Jane off the street. If I was having bridesmaids I would still be offering to pay her the same rate I am now, and I simply mentioned that to establish a history of our relationship and emphasize that we are close friends.

    I've priced out getting a customized digital file from an Etsy seller and the rate of compensation I have in mind for my friend is many times more than what I would be asked to pay for a digital design from Etsy. And, as I said, I would absolutely pay her travel and expenses for coming to Austin to help me with the physical signs. 

    I also wasn't sure because she is new into the game and just getting her business started, so I know what professionals who have an established portfolio and high-demand for their time are asking for as compensation, but am not familiar with what sort of rates less-experienced people in the graphic design field are charging. 

    I do very much have the option of having my friend just come as a guest. I've made it very clear to her that I simply think she's incredibly talented and want to help her get more business, and that if this is too big an ask she is 100% at liberty to turn me down. She is excited to do this and has already sent me several designs. I don't want her to do more work without establishing how much I will pay her. That is why I came here to seek some advice.

    AND SINCE EVERYONE WANTS TO FOCUS ON THE FAVORS AND THE ACTIVITY: 

    -Doesn't have to be Mad Libs. The point is for people to have a little something fun and silly to do as they wait at their tables for dinner to be called, or whenever, but just something to encourage people to talk to and get to know one another.

    -The decision about the favors was made because of a) my cousin's UBER FANCY wedding a few years ago that did just this and I heard not one single complaint about it, in fact, many of my family expressed the opposite sentiment. If my snooty cousin can do this then I can too.  and b) because many people are traveling from out of town and don't want some tacky crap to fit in their suitcase on the way home. 

    Thanks so much to the people who've taken the time to comment and share their opinions about the topic I originally posted about. Your advice and guidance have been very insightful and I'm grateful to you for taking the time to thoughtfully respond
    knottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    CMGragain said:

    OP, your original post contained information that almost everyone here on The Knot regards as rude and improper - that is, making a donation to the charity of YOUR choosing, and notifying guests that it has been done in their "honor" instead of giving them an unnecessary favor.  I tried to explain this to you.  I tried to stop you from making a big etiquette mistake.  You responded with hostility, and you tried to delete your original post.

    The answers you have received as a direct result of your own responses.  Trying to delete your original post and then rephrasing your question, hoping that no one would notice your original post, was a very bad idea.  This is why you have received some of the responses from others.

    You need to grow up and take responsibility for your own actions.  If you posted that you were planning to rob a bank and asked what weapon you should use, no one would answer your question.   We would tell you not to rob the bank.


    Be careful now, missy, with that brazen, "devil-may-care" attitude of yours.  It will go down as another mark on your permanent record ;-)
     
    CMGragainshort+sassyInLoveInQueens
  • MrsMik2017MrsMik2017
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    edited May 22
    We thought about something edible but (in addition to cocktail hr apps and dinner) we are having a cake, two dessert options, and a late night snack of churros w/ cajeta so that's a lot of food. 
    knottiec9d9a8992a69c629
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited May 23
    OP, in case you were wondering about @MobKaz ' post, I have been a regular on this board for almost six years.  I don't troll people.  I do try to help them.  You set yourself up when you tried to delete and re-post.  You didn't fool anyone.

    Please listen to the good advice you are being given.  Here, on The Knot, we will tell you the truth, even if you don't like it.  There are plenty of other websites that will tell you that it is "your day", and "do anything you want".  That is terrible advice.  The feelings of your guests are very important.  They might not tell you what they think because they care about you, and the won't want to hurt your feelings.  They will THINK it, though, and maybe even talk about it later. 

    Everyone here is trying to help you.  You need to listen.  It is not our purpose to "uplift" anyone.
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    short+sassy
  • $1,000. Idk why, just feels right
    adk19
  • lnixon8lnixon8
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    Instead of donating designated favor money why don't you donate the money you'd spend on a wedding dress? Take a sharpie to an old t-shirt and write "In lieu of a wedding dress the money was donated to the aspca".


    InLoveInQueensadk19
  • My sisters good friend designed and printed all of our invites, and he set the rate. I would ask her what she charges. If she's starting a business she still will know how much to charge. Start there. 
    MrsMik2017
  • OP, the amount you should pay your friend - if she doesn't want to name a price - really depends on how many of each item she is doing, how complex the design for each is, whether or not you are also tasking her with doing the research/legwork getting your suite of invitations/programs/etc. printed, and the method of printing you are selecting (letterpress, thermography, special white or metallic inks). 

    I could give you suggestions on ranges, but I would need to know this additional information first. 

    That being said, you posted on the internet. Anything you post is up for comment. If you didn't want anyone to provide (really good actually) feedback on your choice of charitable donation/Mad Libs activity, you should have kept that information to yourself. But that ship has sailed. A charity is a very personal choice. Without giving a concrete example because I do not want to offend anyone, some people may feel passionate about gifting to a particular charity, but someone else may find that particular charity offensive because of moral/political/religious beliefs. The same way you don't talk about politics and religion in polite company, you should tread carefully when it comes to discussing charitable contributions - especially when you are making said donation on someone's behalf. And especially in this day and age where society has become extremely divided on issues.
    MrsMik2017InLoveInQueens
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    Check out Etsy for similar packages.

    What's the thank you note for? You should be going to each person (either via receiving line or table visits) to personally thank them. A card is very impersonal and rude.
    CMGragainInLoveInQueens
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    OMG STOP TROLLING ME! I am legitimately asking a question and you are just trying to be upsetting. 


    And since you're new here, @CMGragain is the forums go to person for invitation questions. She's not trolling you personally, she's doing what she does best.
    InLoveInQueensLadyCatherineDB
  • Re: your friend. I would either ask her what she charges other people OR do what PPs suggest and contact a few other graphic designers to see what their rates are and then average it for your friend (plus covering travel expenses). Also, consider how you'd feel if things weren't up to what you had imagined. Would you be comfortable giving feedback to her like you would to a vendor?

    And the donations: favors aren't necessary, and it's not required to announce what you used money for in lieu of favors. If you have extra money in the budget, maybe step up some of your catering options (wider selection, "fancier" apps, etc). I wouldn't necessarily side-eye a charity that I knew was close to the couple, like if they volunteered with a certain organization or something. But a lot of them can be a bit divisive, and as a guest I would rather not know I was unknowingly supporting them.

    I personally LOVE Mad Libs and thought about having them at our tables as well. Then I realized that means we also have to have pens on the tables and somehow incorporate that paper into our decor and then most people will throw them away so it's just kind of creating waste. I don't hate the idea, but it's maybe not necessary.
    MrsMik2017
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    edited May 24
    I would call around to a couple of vendors that provide similar services, and get some price lists. Then I would send the friend a proposed "quote" within that range. I would also pull together a contract that outlines exactly what she's doing, on what timeline, when you'll have proofs to approve, etc. Mixing friendship and business can be dicey, so you want to work out all the particulars. The last thing you want is to be 6 weeks before the wedding and still waiting on invitations, or 4 weeks before and hoping she'll make a correction you've asked for three times.

    Also, get rid of the back of the activity card. Bragging about donating to charity is just gross. If you don't want to do favors, that's great. 99% of people won't miss them. There is simply no reason to tell guests about a donation. It doesn't make you seem like a better person and it doesn't make anyone care about favors or lack thereof. 
    MrsMik2017short+sassy
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